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Tahitian Pearl Necklaces

Updated on January 20, 2021

Tahitian pearls are by far my favorite type of jewelry. Not only is their name deceiving (not all Tahitian pearls are black), but they are found in different sizes, shapes, and colors. With all those variations, you can imagine how many different combinations there are for jewelry. If you´ve never heard of Tahitian pearl jewelry, read on to find out what makes it so unique.

Size

Similar to regular pearls, and all precious stones for that matter, Tahitian pearls come in all different sizes. The average size is between 7.5mm and 14mm, but can be found as large as 18mm! That is more than half an inch, and looks huge. Of course, pearls as large as 18mm will cost a fortune, especially if they are spherical.

Nacre Thickness

If you know anything about pearls, you will certainly have heard about nacre thickness. The nacre is what grows around the actual pearl, as it is growing inside the oyster. It grows in layers, and the thicker the nacre, the more iridescent the pearl appears, and the more luster it has. This basically means it will have a special shine to it.

The nacre is also what protects the pearl, so a thick nacre is very important. On a regular pearl, the nacre is usually about 30% of the pearl’s volume. However, in a Tahitian pearl, it is usually around 50%! This is a result of the warm waters of Tahiti, which lead to a fast growing nacre.


Shape

Tahitian pearls naturally come in many different shapes, which makes them unique to other jewels. These shapes are broken down into four main categories: round, semi-round, baroque, and semi-baroque.

A round Tahitian pearl is considered a nearly perfect sphere, with less than a 2% variation in diameter. Unless measured with a special instrument, there is no way to tell that it is not perfectly spherical. These are extremely rare and therefore very expensive. A necklace made of spherical Tahitian pearls can cost hundreds of dollars.

A semi-round pearl still appears to be perfectly spherical, but the diameter is off by between 2% to 5% percent. Although still not very common, they are much cheaper, and still look amazing. It is only when they are looked at closely that they appear slightly warped.

Semi-Baroque are pearls that are not spherical, but are the perfectly symmetrical on each side. They are usually in the shape of a tear drop, pear, button, or oval. Some of the shapes are really beautiful, and are perfect for earrings, and can often make some great necklaces as well. They are also often used for pieces of art and photography, and have a unique beauty to them.

Baroque pearls are pearls that have no symmetry and are completely random in shape. They are sometimes very beautiful, but are rarely used for necklaces or bracelets. More commonly, they are used for broaches, pendants, or artwork.



Various Colors of Tahitian Pearls
Various Colors of Tahitian Pearls

Color

The color of Tahitian pearls is something that really sets them apart from other types of jewelry. They often look two different colors all at the same time. This is because they have a “body” color, and an “overtone” color. Here is a list of some of the more common color combinations, with the name they are given for those combinations:

Fly Wing - metallic green and silver

Pistachio – grey and green

Aubergine - purple or deep pink

Rainbow – black, green, and pink or aubergine

Tahitian Gold – gold and black

Lavender - silver or grey and blue

Pigeon Grey – grey and purple

Moon Grey - pale grey

Champagne - yellow or gold and grey

Peacock – green and black

So for example, if you really like pearls that are grey with purple overtones, you could go to a jeweler and as for a Pigeon Grey Tahitian pearl necklace.

Another very popular type of Tahitian pearl is chocolate Tahitian pearls. These are often combined with gold to make beautiful, elegant pieces of jewelry, and are often very expensive. However, chocolate Tahitian pearls are actually low-grade pearls that have been dyed. They still look beautiful, but keep in mind they are not high-quality pearls.

Tahitian black pearls are used in all traditional types of jewelry – necklaces, rings, broaches, pendants and earrings. However, because of the variety in Tahitian pearls, they also have many other uses. For example, Tahitian pearls can be great for artists. Especially baroque pearls, that are found in odd shapes and sizes. Artists can use these to create unique pieces of art. Tahitian pearls are also used for more current types of jewelry as well, such as hip hop jewelry. Hip hop jewelry tends to be big and fancy, and for people with money, very expensive. Tahitian pearls are great for showing off, and can be found in original, big and flashy pieces of jewelry, making them ideal for hip hop jewelry.

As you can see, black Tahitian pearl necklaces are very unique, and cater to just about anyone´s taste. The next time you are at a jewelry store, I recommend you take a look at the Tahitian pearls, because pictures do not do them justice. One last thing to keep in mind, is that just like most jewelry, if it is properly cared for, a Tahitian pearl necklace or bracelet can last for centuries, so is a perfect piece of jewelry to pass down through generations.

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